Location: 348 Yonge Street, Toronto
What if you had bubble tea, but without the tea? That’s not a question I would have thought to ask, but it turns out that the answer is seriously delicious.
Tiger Sugar serves a drink called brown sugar boba milk, and yeah — it’s basically bubble tea without the tea. It’s sweet, creamy, and amazing. I actually tried Tiger Sugar on a recent trip to Taiwan, and I found it so delicious that I thought “I should bring this to Canada! I’ll be rich!”
I have zero desire to run a bubble tea shop, but I was so confident that this would be a hit in Toronto that I actually reached out to the company to see if franchising was a possibility (alas, I was too late).
And, so far at least, I was right. Tiger Sugar opened a location downtown about a month ago, and on a recent visit (during the afternoon in the middle of the week, no less), the place was absolutely packed.
Their flagship drink is brown sugar boba milk with cream mousse, which is just as rich as it sounds. The brown sugar gives it a nice depth of flavour that helps it not feel too sweet, despite the fact that it’s incredibly sweet. The combo of the milk and the cream mousse is rich and satisfying. And the tapioca balls are chewy, sweet, and tasty.
It’s definitely not something to order if you just want to quench your thirst — it’s a full-blown dessert, and it’s surprisingly heavy — but it’s so good.
Location: 3035 Dundas Street West, Toronto
The peameal bacon at When the Pig Came Home, a delightful little deli in the Junction, is probably twice as thick as any other peameal that I’ve had. It’s also twice as good.
They have a bunch of optional toppings, but the Original Peameal Sandwich is quite simple, with just peameal, baby kale, tomato, and Maple aioli.
The bacon is substantial and cooked to order; it’s phenomenal. It’s super tender (and it isn’t dry at all, which tends to be an issue with peameal), and features a really satisfying level of saltiness that lets the flavour of the pork shine through.
None of the toppings particularly stand out, and I mean that in a good way — they step back and let the bacon be the star of the show.
The bun is great too — it’s nice and fresh, with a crackily exterior that gives the sandwich a decent amount of texture.
Location: It’s a truck; check Instagram to see where they’re parked
Did I go right back to Nani’s Gelato after trying it for the first time the other day? Why yes, yes I did. What can I say; it’s really good.
This time I was able to try two flavours — pistachio, and tahini and black sesame. Both were absolutely outstanding.
Pistachio is a classic gelato flavour, and Nani’s knocks it out of the park. It has a vibrant pistachio flavour that, unlike so many other places, actually tastes like real pistachio — not pistachio flavouring.
The tahini and black sesame is just as good, with a toasty, intense tahini flavour, and a restrained amount of sweetness that lets the nutty sesame flavour shine through.
I really hope this place opens a permanent location soon, because I think it’s easily a contender for the best gelato in the city.
Location: 2510 Hampshire Gate, Oakville
McDonald’s is making a big hullabaloo about their “remastered” classic burgers (the Big Mac, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and the Cheeseburger). This includes a promotion where you can get a Big Mac for three bucks, so I figured it was worth a shot.
The improvements, according to McDonald’s:
- 100 per cent Canadian beef patties now cooked in smaller batches for hotter and juicier beef
- Storage changes for fresher and crisper produce
- Onions added directly on the patties on the grill to intensify flavour
- More of our legendary Mac Sauce applied on Big Macs
- New bun recipes for warmer buns
I got a Big Mac, and… I don’t know. It’s a Big Mac? It tastes like a Big Mac? I’m sure if I were that guy who eats multiple Big Macs every day, it would have blown my mind with all the little differences. But it’s been a year or two since I’ve had one. It tasted exactly the same to me.
Actually, that’s not entirely true — it’s clearly saucier. The amount of sauce is kind of insane. It oozes out of the burger with every bite. It’s a mess.
Obviously the dry, mostly tasteless McDonald’s patties need a lot of help (and no, they are absolutely not juicier in any discernible way). But even still, this was overkill.
The only other change that stood out were the onions; you could tell just by looking at them that they had been put on the griddle. They had a bit of colour to them. But if that made any particular difference to the flavour, I certainly couldn’t tell.
Still, it wasn’t bad. I liked the Big Mac before, and I like it now — but I guess I prefer the old version, because the amount of sauce on the new one is bonkers.
Location: 2853 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Last summer, I tried just about everything on the menu at Chica’s Chicken, and decided that it was probably the best fried chicken in the city.
It’s still probably the best fried chicken in the city. The Buffalo fried chicken sandwich is a newer addition to the menu, and it was every bit as amazing as I was hoping it would be.
It’s normally served on a brioche bun, but since they were out of those, it came on sliced bread instead. I’m sure it would have been delicious on the bun, but the bread didn’t feel like a detriment. It was an outstanding sandwich.
The fried chicken was as crispy, flavourful, and juicy as ever, and the zingy Buffalo sauce just enhances it. It’s topped with coleslaw and blue cheese sauce, and it’s absolutely perfect. It’s the perfect Buffalo chicken sandwich. I can’t think of a single thing I’d change.
Actually, that’s a lie — it’s only mildly spicy, and I wish it were a little bit hotter. But the sandwich was so thoroughly satisfying that I only barely missed the spice.